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Changing of City Council Guard

Jane Egly, defeated in her bid for re-election, accepts departing mementos from Kelly Boyd, who was selected to succeed her as mayor.

Former Mayor Jane Egly and former Mayor Pro Tem Verna Rollinger ceremoniously, and with good spirits and some sentiment, relinquished their seats on the City Council Tuesday to newly elected council members Steve Dicterow and Bob Whalen.

Kelly Boyd, who presented Egly with flowers, a framed city resolution delineating her accomplishments and an official city tile, was selected by the council as the city’s new mayor and Elizabeth Pearson was appointed mayor pro tem. Egly followed with a heartfelt statement of appreciation for the work, ordinary and extraordinary, that the city staff accomplishes daily. Council member Toni Iseman gave Rollinger, who went on to enumerate many accomplishments not listed in her official resolution, the official send-off.

New City Clerk Lisette Chel swears in newly elected council members Steve Dicterow, left, and Bob Whalen and incumbent Treasurer Laura Parisi.

In their wake, Egly and Rollinger left noticeable vacancies on several county and city committees and subcomittees, some of which current council members reluctantly filled.

One city subcommittee that both Egly and Rollinger previously served on, the Complete Streets Task Force, which is charged by state mandate with making city streets safely accessible to bicyclists as well as other human-powered transportation modes, took the longest to fill.  Boyd stepped in and then volunteered Dicterow as the second council representative on the task force, who accepted.

Egly also served on the city’s Environmental Sustainability Committee, which was accepted by Iseman, previously an alternate to the committee.  No one volunteered to replace the alternate position.  Iseman took the assignment for the Laguna Canyon Foundation as well and, after several moments, Boyd volunteered as the alternate.

Iseman also nixed Dicterow’s preference to serve as the council representative to the Irvine Bowl Policy Committee, which reviews any capital improvements made at the Festival of Arts and approves all off-season events.  Dicterow is a member of the Festival of Arts’ board of directors.

“I think it’s a little close for comfort,” Iseman commented.   Boyd and Whalen took the positions.

At four positions, Dicterow volunteered for the least number of committees.  Whalen, previously a city planning commissioner who had the most number of absences on that board, volunteered for seven committees and subcommittees.  Unlike Rollinger and Egly, who are retired professionals, Dicterow and Whalen are still working full time as attorneys.

Iseman, also retired, volunteered for the most committees, accepting 16 positions; Boyd, who recently retired as proprietor of the Marine Room Tavern, accepted 10 in addition to the seven automatic mayoral appointments.   Pearson, working as development director of the Laguna Playhouse, stepped up for nine, saying she preferred afternoon meetings and good-humoredly suggesting Whalen take an assignment several times.  As noted at the meeting, some of the groups meet more regularly and are more active than others.  The council also agreed to return to a “when needed” liaison position with the eight city committees instead of what as evolved as another regular member to those groups.

Out of 28 city committees and subcommittees, Egly, in addition to seven automatic mayoral assignments, had served on 12 and Rollinger on 11.

In other administrative matters, the council set the monthly salary of newly elected and unopposed City Clerk Lisette Chel at $8,400, which was at the mid-range of the suggested monthly pay scale of $6,979 to $9,821 and constitutes a 20 percent pay raise.  The raise will take effect in June 2013.

Chel has served as deputy city clerk for four years and was at the top of that position’s pay range at $5,450 per month.  Chel replaces Martha Anderson, who is retiring as city clerk after eight years and after previously employed as deputy city clerk for 13 years. Anderson was at the top of her pay range at $9,821 a month.

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